Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 32 of Lent, Thursday, April 10, 2014

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."

                                   1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV)

The Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom has done research on the relationship between jobs and life satisfaction and found that the clergy are at the top of the list.

I know, you are thinking, they are that dissatisfied?

But no, they are actually the most satisfied out of 274 different occupations surveyed!

I find this remarkable since so much of American writing about Christianity in Europe is negative and bemoaning the death of God there.

The list is fascinating as you read through it.
As I helped build a house in Mexico, this one was just as satisfying.

I remember one young woman in particular that felt she was called by God to serve the church as a pastor.  Her parents were not interested in this and preferred her to pursue a more lucrative field like law.  Legal professionals come in at 108 on the list.

I guess that they made a direct correlation with income and happiness which is not always true.

I believe that clergy scored so high on this because they see their job as a calling.  The work we do is connected to a higher purpose and we see that we are part of the greater work for good in the world.  This is no small thing.

As you consider your own vocation, are you happy with what you are doing?

How do you see God as part of your work - both daily and on a long-term basis?

I thought this prayer for our work was pretty spot on:

Lord, a lot of the work I have to do is dull - deadly dull.  Sometimes I'm so bored, and sometimes I'm depressed.  It goes on day after day.  God, sometimes I hate work.  And then I remember two things, and take heart.  I ask your help to keep them more in mind. I remember the carpenter's shop at Nazareth.  That can't always have been all joy and sunshine.  People can be very rude to others who work for them.  So I know that you understand - and I'm thankful.  I remember, too, that my work is linked through the work of others to the work of all people, just as I am linked through others to all people.  They depend on me and I depend on them.  Lord, keep me faithful.  Amen.

Prayer by John Charles Vockler, Archbishop of the Anglican Catholic Church

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